It’s not that bosses purposely promote people they know are bullies. Rather, they might not be aware. “If you are a boss and really want to understand your appetite for bullies,” she wrote, there are four things to ask about yourself — if you answer yes, you might be a bully-enabler. Among them:
“You hate complainers. Workplace complainers are in your face, asking you to make a judgment call when it’s one person’s word against another. They are incapable or unwilling to resolve conflict on their own,” she wrote. “Bullies, on the other hand, don’t inconvenience you at all. They mistreat others behind-the-scenes and their social and political savvy allows them to remain calm, cool and most importantly — surprised when you confront them about the claims against them.”
“You love loyalists. Like hardy plants, bullies are dependable when all others abandon you. They are crafty and know that each time they push out an ‘incompetent complainer’ they are further carving out a spot out for themselves within the ranks of the indispensable… and they are right,” Edmonds wrote. “They stand tall, by your side… and don’t generally demand a lot in return. Because of this you eagerly reward them with promotions and raises. Maybe you’ve heard them speak disrespectfully to co-workers a time or two, but you talk yourself into believing that the object of their verbal slap-down deserved it and they are acting on your best behalf, or it is merely and isolated event.